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      Distinct descending motor cortex pathways and their roles in movement

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          A mesoscale connectome of the mouse brain.

          Comprehensive knowledge of the brain's wiring diagram is fundamental for understanding how the nervous system processes information at both local and global scales. However, with the singular exception of the C. elegans microscale connectome, there are no complete connectivity data sets in other species. Here we report a brain-wide, cellular-level, mesoscale connectome for the mouse. The Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas uses enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-expressing adeno-associated viral vectors to trace axonal projections from defined regions and cell types, and high-throughput serial two-photon tomography to image the EGFP-labelled axons throughout the brain. This systematic and standardized approach allows spatial registration of individual experiments into a common three dimensional (3D) reference space, resulting in a whole-brain connectivity matrix. A computational model yields insights into connectional strength distribution, symmetry and other network properties. Virtual tractography illustrates 3D topography among interconnected regions. Cortico-thalamic pathway analysis demonstrates segregation and integration of parallel pathways. The Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas is a freely available, foundational resource for structural and functional investigations into the neural circuits that support behavioural and cognitive processes in health and disease.
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            Dimensionality reduction for large-scale neural recordings.

            Most sensory, cognitive and motor functions depend on the interactions of many neurons. In recent years, there has been rapid development and increasing use of technologies for recording from large numbers of neurons, either sequentially or simultaneously. A key question is what scientific insight can be gained by studying a population of recorded neurons beyond studying each neuron individually. Here, we examine three important motivations for population studies: single-trial hypotheses requiring statistical power, hypotheses of population response structure and exploratory analyses of large data sets. Many recent studies have adopted dimensionality reduction to analyze these populations and to find features that are not apparent at the level of individual neurons. We describe the dimensionality reduction methods commonly applied to population activity and offer practical advice about selecting methods and interpreting their outputs. This review is intended for experimental and computational researchers who seek to understand the role dimensionality reduction has had and can have in systems neuroscience, and who seek to apply these methods to their own data.
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              Cortical control of arm movements: a dynamical systems perspective.

              Our ability to move is central to everyday life. Investigating the neural control of movement in general, and the cortical control of volitional arm movements in particular, has been a major research focus in recent decades. Studies have involved primarily either attempts to account for single-neuron responses in terms of tuning for movement parameters or attempts to decode movement parameters from populations of tuned neurons. Even though this focus on encoding and decoding has led to many seminal advances, it has not produced an agreed-upon conceptual framework. Interest in understanding the underlying neural dynamics has recently increased, leading to questions such as how does the current population response determine the future population response, and to what purpose? We review how a dynamical systems perspective may help us understand why neural activity evolves the way it does, how neural activity relates to movement parameters, and how a unified conceptual framework may result.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Nature America, Inc
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                November 2018
                October 31 2018
                November 2018
                : 563
                : 7729
                : 79-84
                Article
                10.1038/s41586-018-0642-9
                1f94eff6-1129-48e6-bf1b-ac8c076a79e9
                © 2018

                http://www.springer.com/tdm


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